RETIRED police official Jose Jorge Elizalde Corpuz, who served as the director of integrated police operations for Southern Luzon until 2015, was sworn in by President Rodrigo Duterte as chairman of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on September 12, 2016 with his former Philippine Military Academy (PMA) batchmate Alexander Balutan as general manager. They assumed office two days later.
Corpuz said it would be all for the better if Filipinos were made to judge whether President Duterte made the right decision in appointing men in uniform to sensitive government posts.
“It’s for people to judge, it is not our call to say [that the President did right]. Dayo lang kami rito [We are just visitors here]. We were given a mission and an order and we’re just executing what has been assigned us to do,” he added.
Differentiating the way that civilians and members of the military do things, Corpuz said, “Military leadership is compliance, delivery and compliance. I’m not really familiar with civilian leadership but there is tolerance [in the environment]. In the military or police, it’s the immediate implementation of an order [that is the norm].”
He believes that the President sees the difference.
“That’s why [he’s comfortable with members of the] military or police [whom he appoints because he knows what the]output result [will be], unlike in civilian leadership where there is dilly-dallying as legal [implications]are considered, among others,” the PCSO chairman explained.
Comparing how the two leaderships differ, he related an instance where his verbal instruction was not taken as an order.
“In the military, my verbal instruction is already an order. But in civilian setting, they still ask for a written memo to make the order official, and would not act on it until they receive a memo,” Corpuz said.
He added that he had to adapt to the culture and he is glad that he seems to be doing fine in the civilian setting.
One of the things that sets him and GM Balutan apart from the previous leadership is that they go around—attending blessings, inaugurations, branch openings and meetings with personnel across the county.
“You must be with your people. You must know what is the problem down there. They must know who is leading them. You cannot be giving order here [when you don’t even know them, and they don’t even know you]. There should be direct contact with the people in the organization, direct eye-to-eye contact with the rank-and-file,” Corpuz said.
Hitting the target
Psyching himself up has helped a lot in the PCSO chairman’s determination to surpass revenues of the agency before they came on board.
“We call ourselves Team 5-0, that means P50 billion in revenues [for the year]from the previous P37.4 billion. It seemed ambitious but we knew we can do it, and able to hit it,” Corpuz said.
Then the team, he added, reassessed and one board member said they can go for Team 6-0.
“I said [we just got lucky, let’s take it easy], that would be too stressful to push ourselves. What’s acceptable and doable is maintaining 5-0, and perhaps becoming Team 5-1,” he said with laughter.
He likewise said he is confident that next year, with new games like Instant Sweepstakes and the launch of mobile technology, the new goal can indeed be achieved, as they are also in the process of evaluating seven corporations for additional services.
Having served 37 years in the police and military, and as undersecretary and executive director of the then-Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Corpuz said it is always the call of the President to assign him to another post or given another responsibility.
“It’s the call of the Commander-in-Chief if we are given another assignment [after this]. I’m always ready to support him. It’s actually an honor to serve the government,” Chairman Corpuz added.
Does it help that he and GM Balutan both came from the PMA and are now together at the PCSO?
“We understand each other. We have no problem with each other. I can easily tell him what I want and what I don’t want and he can do the same with me. We can adapt to each other very easily,” he answered.
On the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of the PCSO on October 30, he said:
“I learned that our theme is ‘PCSO on the Rise’ and I agree with that. And there’s a lot of skies so I hope we’ll become a soaring eagle among other GOCCs [Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations]. We can still deliver more. It’s not to brag but we can still deliver more, that’s the only way.”